The Believers Of The Source
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The Believers of the Source

Remember the last time you failed. Remember how hard you tried, how important success was, how hard you fought, how ultimately, you failed. Remember the grief. Remember the pain. Remember the shame. Hold onto it, tightly. Crush it in your heart, with all the intense pressure you can muster, until it becomes a diamond, hard as adamant, impenetrable. Hold that diamond in your soul, born of pain and suffering, and use it. Get up. Try again. If you don't succeed, try again. Keep trying. Stay alive. Don't stop until you achieve success. Until you achieve perfection.

The Believers of the Source are an organization that teaches that from suffering, comes strength. They take their members in, test them physically and mentally, break them, and build them back up stronger. They take in all who have tasted the bitterness of defeat, and teach them to turn that bitterness outward, to rise above it, and to try, try again. They seek to perfect their members through repeated tempering, forging people into ever-stronger versions of themselves, pushing them ever-higher. For the Believers of the Source, good enough isn't good enough. They settle for nothing less than absolutes. Near-perfection is still flawed, and that is not what they want. A Believer of the Source must seek perfection.

This is why they are called the Godseekers. Members of the Believers of the Source believe that perfection is an attainable goal. Demigods and saints and the deities themselves are not an entirely different category of being. They are just higher, more perfect, less flawed. By endless cycles of testing and triumph, the Godseekers chase that divinity, and whatever may lay beyond it.

The Godseekers have more than just this life to pursue their goals, as well. In their view, there is a cycle of reincarnation that exists, with a person's soul moving from form to form over hundreds of thousands of lifetimes, each one a chance to be as perfect as possible within that form, or a chance to fail. If you pursue perfection in this life, you will be rewarded by being reborn closer to it in the next life. If you abdicate this responsibility, you will be punished by being reborn farther from perfection in the next life. The exact hierarchy is in hot dispute, but most Godseekers agree that power comes with this closeness to perfection, and so more powerful creatures are closer to it than others. The gods, being the most powerful creatures in reality, are surely the closest entities to this perfection. This means that you, too, can be a god, someday, if you only try harder.

If you have felt the sting of failure, and if you seek to grow stronger, the Believers of the Source will welcome you, test you, and hone you into the most perfect being they can: one of their own.

Dogma

Members of the Believers of the Source agree to the following tenants:

  • Never seek immortality. Death is but one test among many, and dying is the way the universe re-forges you into your next form. Pass willingly from the world when it comes for you.
  • Always push yourself. Never be satisfied with what you have accomplished. Seek perfection. Analyze your flaws. If you have done something great, try to do something greater. If you are not failing, the tests you have set are too easy. Set harder tests. Fail, and in failing, grow strong.
  • Do not give up. We all hold within us the possibility to be gods. They have sprung from the same Source that you have. Seek that godhood. Believe in your ability to accomplish it. Treat those who have done better than you, who have more power, more perfection, as examples to aspire to. You may be less powerful than the gods, but this is only a temporary condition. You can be greater.

Organization

The Believers of the Source is an inter-planar organization that seeks new recruits wherever there is potential for power and accomplishment. Their headquarters is known as Ambar's Palace, a luxurious mansion drifting through the Elemental Chaos, where the Godseekers believe the world itself was forged. Members of the Believers of the Source work as trainers, farmers, manual laborers, and in other jobs that take a punishing toll on the body or mind, quietly striving in these harsh conditions to overcome them, to rise above them, and to become greater because of them. It is here that their philosophy is espoused and received, and it is here — in the bellows of a forge or in the sandy soil of a degraded farm — that one may find membership in their faction.

Membership

Joining the Godseekers is something of a task, as they don't accept those who don't tolerate failure, or who can't handle pressure. It often involves a test of endurance of some sort, such as a marathon session of back-breaking, mind-numbing labor. However, after this labor finally shatters the individual, rendering them a quivering puddle on the ground, the Godseekers are prepared to welcome the new member — and immediately put them to work.

Race and Class

"Tough" races, and races that have seen much war and history, are quite receptive to the Godseekers' message. There are half-orcs who endure bitterness and isolation. There are githzerai who hone their bodies. There are goliaths who compete in every avenue. Standing out in this crew of stoic, rugged individuals are the devas, who know with an unusual certainty that they have lived before, and will live again. Deva Godseekers rarely serve the gods, but they often harness divine power, growing more powerful as they grow more perfected in this lifetime.

Because of the focus on suffering and overcoming that suffering, many Godseekers are drawn toward classes that exemplify toughness — defenders, mostly, with perhaps a few barbarians thrown in. Martial classes are appealing because they present a focus on training and self-improvement. Divine classes are rarer, largely because Godseekers don't hold that they are truly subservient to the gods: rather, the gods are beings that they wish to become, rather than to honor. Still, some Godseekers will honor a god as patron of that development, content with getting closer to this role in this life, to be reborn in the next as one of the gods' kindred.

Game Rules

Believer of the Source Background

You have joined the Believers of the Source, and become a Godseeker. You have done this to seek perfection in yourself, and to help other seek perfection in themselves as well, forging all people in the great test of existence to become more perfect, better, and stronger. You believe you have lived lives before, and will live lives in the future, being reborn countless times until you become as perfect as the gods — and then even further.
Associated Skills: Endurance, Diplomacy

Believer of the Source Theme

Theme Features

Starting Features

Godseekers believe in honing themselves into perfection, and they believe that others share this potential perfection.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks. In addition, you gain the A Lesson Learned, But The Damage Is Done power.

A Lesson Is Learned, But The Damage Is Done Believer of the Source Utility
You fell for that, but you won't fall for it again.
Encounter * Divine
Immediate Reaction, Personal
Trigger: You are damaged by an attack from an enemy.
Effect: You gain Resist 5 All against attacks from the triggering enemy you until the end of your next turn.

Level 5 Feature

A Godseeker endures many points of pain and suffering throughout their training.
Benefit: You gain the Toughness feat. If you already possess the Toughness feat, the hit points it grants increase by +2 (to 7, 12, and 17).

Level 10 Feature

A Godseeker possesses great stamina.
Benefit: You gain the Durable feat. If you already possess the Durable feat, you gain one additional healing surge.